Ahh, September. That wonderful time of year when everyone visits the beach or vacations for the last time in the warm weather. Schools are going back and pumpkin spice everything shows up. Labor Day crowds here in the U.S. are robust and….SCCCRREEEEAACCCH…but wait. This isn’t a normal September, at least not for me.
Over the past few months, I have not written because, well, I’m aggravated, angry, disgusted and a whole host of other anxious emotions. I watch people I care about go into bars, eat inside restaurants, go on vacation, have huge parties at their home and are jumping for joy that school is going back. It is completely inconceivable to me that there are those out there actually OK with this. Boggles the mind doesn’t even begin to express my complete and utter disbelief about this. Yet, here we are.
My daughter had a concussion in the beginning of this year. Up until COVID caused the shutdown and lockdown here, we were going to regular visits with the doctor and physical therapy. Then, once it was no longer safe to be out there, we did everything online and virtual. I watched as friends started going out during lockdown, LOLing about going to this store and that, buying makeup while out on shopping trips for “essential” items. In the meantime, I was chastised for complaining about it and I ended decades’ long friendships and still can’t even manage to care about it. My husband and son, who are essential workers, NEVER stopped during lockdown. They arrived at their jobs every day, dealing with thousands of people who literally just didn’t care. Screaming, threatening workers all over, I began to see the trickle of horrible people who started with conspiracy theories, incorrect data and statistics that were created to deceive and make some people believe that we weren’t in the terrible crisis that we STILL ARE IN.
As of today, unless I have not noticed this in the news, there is NO cure, NO vaccine and NO treatment (verified, ACTUAL treatment). Nothing. Has. Changed. The closest thing we have to a treatment is people who are terribly ill with COVID have shown small promise with a few steroids. That’s it. Schools are closing down as quickly as they open as countless children and teachers are falling ill. Colleges have hundreds of students quarantined in order to stop the rapid spread already occurring. Yet, people are elated about schools opening. WHY? Now, I cannot and will not try to understand what households with school-aged children who cannot be home alone and also have working parents (or parent) who cannot be home with them. I don’t know what they normally do during the summer when schools are closed, perhaps those options close when school returns? What do you do? Not everyone can work from home, nor can everyone afford day care.
A safe, reliable and thoroughly vetted vaccine is very unlikely to become available until next year. No matter how “optimistic” news stories might be, it just isn’t going to happen. Nothing has changed, except perhaps many of us. My husband and son wear a mask for 8 hours straight, at least five days a week. In the meantime, they have to listen to people who won’t wear one for the FIFTEEN MINUTES they are in the place. They scream at people who are vulnerable to stay home and let the rest of them enjoy life. What about the widow who needs to shop for groceries? What if you are asymptomatic and prance around screaming about not wearing a mask and give it to her, or perhaps those trying to help them? What, is she supposed to not eat so you can do what you please? What kind of depraved person do you need to be to think that way?
Sure, I remember the arguments about seat belts and how people wanted the right to be flung out a windshield to their death if they so chose, but now it’s law. You can’t walk into stores barefoot or without shirts due to health codes. It took time, but “No shoes, no shirt, no service” took hold and reasonable, decent folk always do these things to care about their fellow human beings.
I truly cannot (nor have the desire to bother with it) even mention anything political because at this point, this ridiculous argument has transcended anything in that arena. This is about decency, compassion, working together, caring for one another and all the things we should do all the time. However, for some reason, people have chosen this as their platform, their “hill to die on”. I hope I don’t look on this down the road after I’ve lost someone I care for due to this maniacal clusterbomb we have going on in this country, but I do worry about it.
I most certainly have NOT gone on vacation. I haven’t hugged my oldest child since February. My husband has not hugged his elderly mother in countless months. There is zero chance that I will go anywhere for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve. That will continue next year as well, until there is a viable, approved, safe vaccine and we have all been given as many doses as are recommended.
There was a time when I would be envious as I enjoyed photographs of people on the beach, hamming it up in a bar, enjoying a BBQ with loved ones, flying to a fun destination. Now? I cringe, wondering when their time will be up and how long they are making this last for the rest of us. I’m tired of being home, only going out when it’s necessary, but it’s the RIGHT thing to do…it’s really that simple. Sure, I get bored, but at least I’m safe…for now.
Yes, I’m hyper-emotional, but I am all the time anyway, so this just adds another layer of fun to the mix. I realize that ranting, raving or complaining about this to anyone, about anyone etc, isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. I’m under no delusion that there is someone, somewhere who reads or hears what I say and thinks, “Well, goodness now that I’ve read/heard THIS, my mind is changed! I’m ordering a case of masks and lockdown is my new mantra!” However, it’s cathartic to put it into words, to express the feelings that well, not as many people have as before, but I continue to espouse as this terrible time goes on.
I realize that I have an anxiety disorder and I have two children at home with anxiety disorders. It’s been “fun”. My teen has been difficult at times, but over the long haul, she has been amazing at understanding why she needs to stay home. I’m doing the best I can, so I just wish a lot more people would at least try. Please be safe and well.